What do you think about money?

May 31st, 2016

Last night I was with friends and we were talking about money and jobs.

As the conversation progressed, I kept thinking about how I (and others) think about money.  Having a healthy perspective of, and relationship with, money, is key to living in today’s society.

Many of us want to do altruistic things… things that will help and bless others. Usually, this either takes money to do the things we have identified, or it takes money to pay our bills (house, food, utilities, etc.) while we do those things. You just can’t escape the idea that we need money to enable us to help/bless others.

Some of us don’t care about that stuff, but we want to experience some of the luxuries of life. That obviously takes money.

Some of us can’t even think about luxuries, we are just trying to figure out how to not lose our home.  We feel like we are drowning… like all is hopeless, and we are out of control.  We just want money to pay our bills and be okay again.

Our financial problems are multiplied when we have an unhealthy perspective of money. I attribute much of the unhealthy perspective with one of these two things:

(a) The misquote: Money is the root of all evil, supposedly from The Bible.  Actually, the verse reads the LOVE of money  is the root of all evil.  Money isn’t evil, but if we LOVE money (more than God, ourselves, and others) then we do things to get or keep money without consideration for others.  Please don’t perpetuate the myth/lie that MONEY is the root of all evil.

(b) Not having enough money. Not having enough money is like not having enough oxygen. It’s necessary to have… Money is how we function in, and as a, society. If we don’t have enough, we cut corners, which can cause serious health problems (illness, etc.).  Not having enough money causes us to think about money in an unhealthy way.

Two contrasting phrases come to mind when I think about money: scarcity mentality and abundance mentality.  Do you believe that there is enough to go around, and that you can somehow, ethically and morally, have enough, or more, money?  If you do, you have an abundance mentality (with regard to money).

Do you believe that having too much money is evil, wasteful?  If so, why?  What is the root of your belief?

I worked with a guy who wanted to save the world, especially helping people in third world countries. From where I sat, his problem was that he didn’t have any money to do what he wanted. If he were better at his job, he could have changed his financial situation and been much more empowered to help others. Having a bad understanding of how to make money, and probably an unhealthy perspective of money in general, made it so that he could NOT change the world in the way he wanted to.

I can go on and on, but my main question for you is this: DO YOU have a healthy perspective of money?

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New Course: Building and Managing Your Career Plan

May 26th, 2016

This is my 29th Pluralsight course: Building and Managing Your Career Plan.

This course is a good complement to Career Management 2.0, which I did in 2013. The Career Plan course is all about figuring out where you want to go, and creating and working a plan to get there. Career Management is more about rethinking job security and your role in your career path.

This new course is only 95 minutes long. Every time you watch it you can a few days of premium JibberJobber . Just turn on the course tracker in JibberJobber and let us know you’ve watched it there.

Not a Pluralsight user?  That’s okay… I can hook you up with a 30 day unlimited trial. Each time you watch a Jason Alba (that’s me!) course, you can self-report and get a few days of JibberJobber upgrade.  Watch a course, get a JibberJobber upgrade… again, and again, and again.

Pluralsight is an awesome library of learning content, mostly for IT professionals (developers, server admins, SQL pros, graphics designers, etc.).  There are over 100 soft skills and professional development courses in the library,  and almost 30 of them were done by me :)

Get started in just a minute or two with these instructions, and then self-report for JibberJobber upgrades.



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“Listen More, Speak Less” – Rosie Cavero

May 25th, 2016

Today I was on a call with Rosie Cavero, a marketing and business strategist in Chicago.  In the course of our conversation we were talking about sales and she said:

“Listen more, speak less!”

We were talking about sales, but this applies to job search, business consulting, and sales… even parenting and personal relationships!

You’ve heard the phrase “you have two ears and one mouth,” meaning listen twice as often as you talk.

There are many benefits to listening more and speaking less. In a sales situation, the more you let the prospect talk the more you learn about their real needs and challenges. And, once the sale is made, the less you talk, the less likely you are to talk yourself out of a sale.

This is true in a job search, interview, networking, etc.

My objective is not to suppress your need to communicate… rather, it’s to help you be more effective by communicating through listening.

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Defining the Chicken List

May 24th, 2016

The chicken list is the list of people you are too chicken to call or email.

Everyone has a chicken list.

People on our chicken list really don’t need to be there. They are there because we think we are going to get value out of reaching out to them (they have something to offer us), and we also think the likelihood of having a good conversation is fairly low.

In other words, there is more to lose if we don’t do it right.

We are too chicken to reach out to them, because we might mess it up. And we don’t take them off our list because they might offer significant value to us.

EVERYONE has a chicken list. Successful salespeople, high level CEOs, even the people on your list have their own chicken list!

The best way to move forward is to actually reach out to the person. Sometimes this takes hours of research (are they still at the same company? What can you learn about them online?). Sometimes it takes hours of editing your message (write, and then delete some, add more, delete some, repeat.  Is your message addressing the real reason you are reaching out to them, or is it full of distractions?).  Most of the time it takes an attitude of “oh well, I’m just going to hit send,” which can take hours to build up.

Whether it takes you a few minutes “Hi Jason, I would like to reconnect this week. Do you have time for a 20 minute call?” or all day, let me encourage you to work through those communications and get this mental clutter out of your job search so you can move on!


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Are you READY?

May 23rd, 2016

A few years ago, there was a fire on the hillside near our home. This post, which I wrote from a hotel instead of my house, has more information…


It’s interesting to read that post from a few years ago. We evacuated, and then I left to speak in SLC and then jumped on a plane for more speaking, leaving my wife to take care of getting the family moved back in. It was really no big deal, and she was capable… but it was weird to have family and work responsibilities, and not be around to be the dad/husband.

Anyway, that’s not what this post is about… I want to share something that I didn’t write about in that post.

When it was time to go, we drove away with hastily packed bags (including my speaking clothes and stuff for my meetings that week). It would have made the most sense if we drove our van and our car, so that my wife would have a vehicle and I could drive myself to my presentation the next day, and then the airport.

But, we couldn’t drive the car.

Simply because it was about out of gas.

We were not ready.

Shortly after this incident, I heard someone say that they always have at least a half tank of gas, at all times.  If we had a half tank of gas in our car before this evacuation, we would have easily left in two cars.  But we weren’t ready.

When I got laid off, I wasn’t ready. I knew it was coming, just as much as I could see the fire coming over the hill towards my neighborhood. But, I still didn’t do stuff to get prepared.

What should I have done?

I wish I would have:

Started understanding personal branding. They say “it’s not who you know, but who knows you, and what they know about you.” This means we need to (a) understand who knows us, and (b) figure out what they know about us, or better, how they would describe us.  Then, we would figure out who should know us, and how they should perceive us, and do things to help the right people know the right things (about me).

Figured out networking. Networking was a dirty word when I first started my job search. A necessary evil. But man, I WISH I would have understood what networking really was, and started to grow my network.  Wider (meet more people) and deeper (nurture relationships).  Networking is not a bandaid solution for job seekers… it is a lifestyle for career managers (that is YOU and ME).

Set up a workable schedule. They say that “finding a job is your full time job.”  I took this to heart… I spent about ten hours a day from Monday through Saturday working on my job search.  Unfortunately for me, I was not good at a job search. Luckily, though, I was bad enough that I didn’t find a job and had to start JibberJobber instead :p The key to this third point is to set up a schedule, and ensure that your schedule is realistic and something you can and will do.

These are my “fill the gas tank” things I should have done, before the fire came.  NOTE: if you didn’t do any of these things, it’s not too late to work on them now (and forever)!!

But I didn’t do any of them. Partially because of ignorance, partially because I didn’t want to “cheat on” my company.  How could I network or work on my brand when I was the general manager of a company?  Ah, if I was only wise enough back then to take care of myself!

Will you fill your gas tank?

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Glassdoor Opportunities in Chicago

May 20th, 2016

Check out this post on CareerCloud: Glassdoor plans to hire in Chicago, IL. (here’s Glassdoor’s post)

They signed a 13 year lease, and will move in mid to late 2017.  Looking for 400 new hires… WOW.

If you are in Chicago, I am guessing this could be an exciting career move for you!


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Career Management #amen

May 19th, 2016

From Melissa Cooley (hat tip Julie Walraven):


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JibberJobber Flyer for Job Clubs

May 18th, 2016

If you volunteer at, run, or go to a job club, here’s a flyer you can distribute. You might pass this out at weekly meetings, include in orientation material, post on your website, pin to a (real) bulletin board, etc.

Download pdf version

Download Word version


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Is JibberJobber Free? #OrganizeJobSearch

May 17th, 2016

I say that JibberJobber is a free job search tool… but every once in a while someone asks to have their account deleted (which you can do on your own) because they find out there is an optional upgrade.

Just like LinkedIn, you can optionally upgrade and unlock some premium features.  Hopefully that doesn’t offend too many people.  What do you get in the upgrade?

  1. The amazingly powerful Email2Log. You can do everything that Email2Log does for you manually, but using Email2Log will save you gobs of time as you strive to organize and track.
  2. Unlimited Contacts and Companies. Free/regular users get up to 500 Contacts and 500 Companies… which really, is enough, if you are just tracking contacts and companies directly related to your job search.  But some people want to track everything, and import from LinkedIn, Gmail, etc. and after a while, 500 seems to be not enough. Note: if you have more than 500, and then go to the free level, you DO NOT lose those Contact or Company records.
  3. Ability to bulk import. Importing from any csv file (like what you get from a LinkedIn export), and merging with Gmail Contacts… this is a great feature because you can quickly and easily get your Contacts uploaded into JibberJobber.  Personally, I’m not sure if I would do this for the first few weeks, though… I’m still on the fence on this.
  4. Push reminders. Every premium user can get Action Item reminders sent to their email, and those in the U.S. can get them pushed as a text message. Sorry for those outside of the U.S…. it has to do with carrier fees… :(

That is it – everything else is on the free side!

We designed JibberJobber so you can upgrade and downgrade as you need.  The monthly cost is $9.95 a month, or you can get one year for $60 (which equates to 1/2 of the monthly cost).

If you don’t want to upgrade, then don’t… you still get plenty of value from the free level :)

Click here to start your upgrade:



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Happy 10th Birthday to JibberJobber!

May 16th, 2016

Yesterday JibberJobber quietly celebrated it’s 10 year anniversary. I’m not going to lie: I took a nice, rich nap :)

These last ten years have been a roller coaster, to say the least.  It all started when I lost my job as general manager and became The Worst Job Seeker Ever. I really was pathetic, sitting on job boards and applying for up to 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, getting nowhere (except more frustrated and depressed).

Eventually, I got the idea for what would become JibberJobber, and started to put it together (with a dev team that I worked with in my prior job… one developer and one QA expert, both who are still with JibberJobber). We started development in March and launched two months later, on May 15th, 2006. I was still working my job search, hopeful that I would gain some level of income and place in society that I had enjoyed just a few months earlier, but I thought “let’s try this thing out.”  Finally, in September of 2006 it was time to stop the job search… “burn the ships” as they say, and do JibberJobber full-time.

In the last 10 years we’ve grown, improved, learned, and enjoyed the journey. It definitely hasn’t been easy… I think the entrepreneurial journey is seldom easy. But it has been rewarding. I’ve grown and learned. I’ve been blessed to make some rich friendships spanning the globe… first, with my developers who have been with me from the beginning, and with many career coaches and resume writers and others in this space who’s own businesses have grown (or at least survived over the years). At conferences I’ve roomed with recruiters (hi Steve!) and resume writers, as well as other speakers… I’ve dined from San Diego to Boston, from Seattle to Orlando, and many places in-between, with amazing people who have helped me think differently. I feel like I’ve been with the who’s who of this industry, and it’s been really enjoyable.

I’ve also been blessed to talk, one on one, with many professionals in transition around the globe.  The careers my users have had are sometimes intimidating… the people I’ve done LinkedIn profile critiques for are amazing… and somehow I’ve been invited into their world at a time of uncertainty, and I’ve been able to share some ideas and tips to help move them forward. This has been a humbling and honoring experience.

I’ve written three books, one of which launched a speaking career that put me face-to-face with greatness. I thought I was a great speaker, only to learn that it really takes at least a hundred presentations before you start to get unusually good (much less great or excellent). I was able to witness this growth, and remember when someone said “I saw you speak three years ago (when I thought I was really good), and wow, you’ve REALLY improved!”  It was a compliment, for sure, but I thought I was the same as three years earlier, and I had to then wonder how bad I really was three years before!

Oh yeah, throw in 29 courses for Pluralsight (one is retired, and one I just delivered this morning, so if you look now you’ll only see 27 published courses).  Doing a single course is a massive accomplishment, imo… doing 29 is nothing short of crazy.

My team has grown and shrunk, we’ve expanded and contracted, but my core team has always been there.  I regularly say, with pride, that my original two hires are still with JibberJobber – I think in today’s world that is a major contribution that any employer would be proud of.

JibberJobber looks different than it used to, and there are more changes coming.  But our core “promise,” to help you organize and manage your job search, and become a follow-up tool, will remain at the core of what we do.  I can’t figure out whether we are just leaving our “awkward stage,” at ten years, or if we are just staring it.  We’ll see how the next couple of years go :)

Finally, I would be remiss to not express gratitude to my wife (and kids). I try to keep them off my blog and out of my social life, because I don’t want any haters or harassers (yes, it has happened – there are weird people out there). My wife, from the beginning, has been supportive.  Of course, there have been temptations elsewhere, like a steady paycheck, benefits, etc., but she has been a supporter of the vision to HELP PEOPLE and families, and feels, as I do, that this is my calling and contribution. And she has been supportive over the last ten years, even in the many lean times (hey, free JibberJobber ain’t paying anyone’s bills… not my mortgage, not my kid’s braces :p)… it hasn’t been easy for her, but she’s been a true entrepreneur’s supportive wife, and I’m grateful for that. Since we started JibberJobber we added two kids to our family, and she’s “held the fort down,” allowing me to keep moving forward.

So today’s a day of gratitude and reflection… thanks to each of you for your part, big or small.

Here’s to another 10 years!


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